A Beginning

By Eleanor Keith

This piece was featured in our winter show, A Gathering of Poets and Writers, 2022.


       “And so there she lay, intertwined with the spindly bed of blades, her chest ever slowly rising and falling with the soft breaths of wind. After many laborious years, this patch of sun gave the girl a sure notion of serenity, sweeping through her body, speaking beyond any rival she’d ever encountered. At last, her time was to rest. 

       “The End.”


       Her eyes gradually open. The sun is warm and soft on her face. She turns over in her little patch of grass. 

       The end. What a peculiar statement. The end of what, exactly? She’s heard that old voice for so long now, she’s almost forgotten what life is like unscripted. Oh, how the meadow is so very quiet, with just the sweet whispers of birds and clicking of crickets who dance in these woods, but for… wait a moment… 

       She listens… 

       A small rustling noise. 

       She concentrates. 

       There it is again! 

       Her ears are closely attuned to the sounds of the meadow, and she hears… a piece of paper, a page. Slowly, carefully being turned, and then Thud! 

       The book has been closed. 

       Her book, her story…

       The end.

       The soft breeze gently tussles her hair as she rises from the soft green bed, to her feet, watched by the cheerful mushroom people she’s befriended. 

       The end, she wonders, as she walks along the grass, The end of what? Certainly not her story, as that is being continued right at this very moment! Or is that so true either…?

       She reaches a birch tree, swaying softly in the breeze, so gentle, so delicate. She runs her fingers over its smooth surface, tracing the circles of dark swirling clouds imprinted into its spotty bark. This tree’s story is not over, not by a long time. So that raises the question in her mind, What comes next?

       How could her story be over if it’s just begun?

       And then an epiphany occurs:

       Perhaps this is her story after all.

       The End Beginning.